By Tokelo Martin
Dream Team was established in 2017 when players from the famous township of Soweto and Orange Farm, on the outskirts of Johannesburg decided to merge to form one team in the hopes strengthening Ultimate Frisbee in the black community.
The merger wasn’t easy due to the fearsome rivalry that had developed between Soweto Ultimate and Orange Farm Ultimate. The battle started back in 2016 at the Roctober tournament when the two sides met for the first time. Soweto wiped the floor with Orange Farm in what was a very intense and physical game filled with banter and a bit of trash-talk despite Ultimate being a non-contact sport. Ever since, Orange farm had tried their best to get one over on Soweto but failed. The rivalry was equivalent to the Soweto Derby between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates even though it was always one sided.
The two major players who made the merger possible are Sindile Shongwe, known as Bravo, and Tokelo Martin Mokhesi “Teekay”. The two somehow managed to convince both hard headed members of Soweto and Orange Farm that forming one team will be beneficial for both parties. Teekay and Bravo realised that if both sides want to rise beyond their ceiling they had to maximise their potential. It was on a Friday when Bravo and Teekay met to go eat at some restaurant like they always do on Fridays before heading to Wits for a game of pick up. While waiting for their orders, Bravo suddenly had a lightbulb moment. He was thinking of how powerful and unstoppable Soweto and Orange farm would become as one team. Bravo had already assured Teekay that the Orange Farm guys will definitely buy in on the idea. It was only a matter of trying to get the Soweto guys on board. Teekay managed to convince Soweto to agree after a long conversation on the Soweto Ultimate WhatsApp group.
There were some teething issues at first, most members of Soweto Ultimate were reluctant and said no without thinking twice. As a result, the two sides continued to play separately until a couple of players from Orange Farm started losing interest with some of the Soweto players following suit. There has been a mini exodus from the two teams with some players quitting the game due to the merger and some due to dealing with the difficulties of being a teenager. Some decided to come to terms with the merger and play for Dream Team which is growing from strength to strength with the best players from Soweto and Orange Farm. The original plan was to form one strong side made up of Soweto Ultimate and Orange farm Ultimate players to take part only in major tournaments such as the Nationals to stand a better chance of going deep into tournaments and probably cause a major surprise and win.
Dream Team’s long-term goal is to conquer South African Ultimate and grow in members. Short time goal is to dominate Ultimate in Gauteng. The team is not short on talent, it is only a matter of time, practise and hard work.